Senator Kashim Shettima on Thursday said residents of Maiduguri booed President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday because they had an exaggerated expectation that was not being met.
According to him, many people believed the President had a magic wand, which he insisted he does not.
The Senator also called on Nigerians to stop blaming President Muhammadu Buhari over the worsening insecurity in parts of the country.
Shettima, the immediate past Governor of Borno State, said this while speaking to newsmen at the National Assembly complex, adding that blaming Buhari is akin to grandstanding and playing to the gallery.
The former governor also insisted that pouring venom in the presidency will not help solve the problem of insecurity in the country.
Speaking further, Shettima argued that President Buhari has succeeded in strategically positioning the Northeast through the creation of the North East Development Commission and the discovery of crude oil in the region.
He said: “Let’s see to it that the challenges facing us as a nation and as a people are promptly addressed, and it is not beyond us to solve those challenges.
“I believe quite frankly that grandstanding, playing to the gallery, pouring venom on the presidency will not solve the problem.
“We cannot just demonise Buhari, Buhari did his best, and we had a respite between 2015 and 2017, before we had this recent relapse.
“So, how to find solution to our problem is more important than demonising anybody, and we shouldn’t suffer from memory amnesia, Buhari has done more than enough for the Northeast.
“The Chief of Army Staff is not from Delta, neither is he from Akwa Ibom, the Chief of Army Staff is from Borno, the National Security adviser is from Borno, the Chief of Air staff from Bauchi, all from the Northeast.
“Buhari was instrumental to the creation of the North East Development Commission, and now we have bills, motions coming from all parts of the country agitating for their own commissions as well.
“It was under his tutelage that oil, million barrels of oil was discovered in the Northeast, Bauchi, so we have to give it to him, for placing our people in strategic positions to find solutions to our common challenges.”
The Senator also added that fighting insurgency is a collective responsibility, just as he called for wholistic approach that will involve the military, economic, social and political leaders in the war against terrorism.
“Fighting insurgency is a collective responsibility for all of us; it is a complex composite and interwoven challenge and it is not something that you can solve only through military option.
“We have to adopt a wholistic approach encompassing the military, economic, social and political; beneath the mayhem of Boko Haram, underneath the barbarism lays the real cause, which is extreme poverty.
“In the Lake Chad region, there is an incestuous relationship between the economy, ecology and climate change and the most pertinent aspect, apart from the desecration, is the shrinking of the Lake Chad from 25,000 to less than 2,000 sq km.
“We have challenges of population growth, and by 2050, Nigeria will be the third most populous nation on earth surpassing the United States.
“There will be 440 million Nigerians by 2050. I might not be around, I’m already 52 but you are going to be around. The most pertinent aspect of these statistics is that by 2050, 70 percent of Nigerians will live in the north.
“With desertification, deforestation, endemic poverty, pervasive illiteracy, it is a recipe for disaster.
“Unless, we wear our thinking caps as leaders, unless we coalesce into a single force and come up with robust platforms to transform the anticipated demographic hope into demographic dividends, it will be the demographic disaster that will consume all of us.
“This is why I want to appeal to you, let’s work as a team, let’s work as a family, because the Nigeria we have now, sorry if it is to implode, where do we go? ”
Speaking on how President Muhammadu Buhari was booed in Maiduguri on Wednesday, Shettima said the expectations of people were exaggerated, believing that the President had a magic wand.
He said: “The people of Borno love Buhari, maybe their expectations were over exaggerated. People thought he had a magic wand, he doesn’t have one, I believe it is a temporary hiccup.
“The people of Borno, the people of the north-east still passionately love Buhari. Without the cooperation of the people of Borno, the Civilian JTF could not have come into being.
“The people and the government of Borno are fully behind the President, are fully in support of our security establishment who have lost lives while serving the nation.”
Join the conversation
SPECIAL REPORT: Displaced residents of Zamfara battle hunger, as underfunding derails Nigeria’s nutrition goals
On paper, Muhammad Zayyanu is seven years old. The quiet boy who looks shorter for his age could not recollect...
INVESTIGATION: N7.3bn paid for unnamed projects; how Nigerian govt spent N2.2trn in six months
Analysing nearly 3,000 payments made by various Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) over the previous six months (January...
INVESTIGATION… Delay rocks Nigerian govt’s promise of N30,000 covid-19 relief for artisans, others
Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in February, 2020, Chukwudi Okoroigwe’s daily earnings as a bus driver was hardly enough to cater to the...
INVESTIGATION… Ten years after, communities count losses as AfDB, Cross River govt abandon road project
Ten years after the Cross River State government and African Development Bank (AFDB) jointly awarded the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Benue border road for...
INVESTIGATION….N.3bn down the drain: Why water projects for Enugu communities don’t work
In this concluding part, ARINZE CHIJIOKE talks about some of the projects that are serving the people and how various WASH programmes have failed to tackle...